Advantages Set-and-forget way to 'save the planet' and a few bob too!
Disadvantages Only guaranteed for one year despite being built to 'last 15 years'.
I wrote about a similar device a few years back, but it's decided to fail me now. Ironically this new one is by the same firm. Voting with your feet when it's a one horse race is somewhat difficult it seems.Whatever I think of electrical goods that break and Lord knows, I've written about a few of their replacements just lately, I remain committed to keeping my electricity bill as low as I can. Not just for one of those 'interesting statistical reasons' that are bandied around either, e.g. 'remembering to turn off our TVs properly at the mains will save enough electricity to light Leicester'. Laudable though that is (unless you don't like Leicester), I'm more interested in the 'save enough electricity to light me' aspect. One of the few occasions when looking after 'Number One' is community-spirited too.
Last time I rooted around amongst the dust bunnies under my computer bench, there were eight (yes eight) appliances requiring power, including the desktop computer itself.There were two printers, an outboard network drive, the monitor, the cable modem, the wireless router, the loudspeakers and the computer itself.
Now, not one of the peripherals needs to be powered if the computer isn't switched on. I know that some people like to leave their internet access running, which in my case would mean both the modem and the router, but I don't, and I'll cover why later.So it would be pretty useful if someone made a bit of kit that turned it all off at the same time wouldn't it?
Well, OneClick do. Let me introduce you to the Intelligent 8-way panel*, which not only puts the seven 'other' appliances under the control of the computer, but it embodies mains-surge protection both the electronic devices plugged in and for for any telephone lines and Ethernet connections associated with the set-up.(*Its predecessor was only a 6-way strip involving the use of a further adapter just to get them all connected, so to be honest, I'm none too sorry it's packed up as it was getting all too easy to kick it.)
Setting one up is dead easy. The computer itself gets plugged into the permanently live socket, which is clearly marked by being a different colour. The peripherals occupy the other seven sockets. On powering up the computer, by the usual switch on its front panel, the electronics within the OneClick sense a new higher power drain, and it uses this as its cue to switch everything else on.Thus it can tell the difference between the minute amounts of current drawn by a PC whilst not in use (I assume that something must be live, otherwise, what powers the low voltage switch on the front panel that turns it all back on?), and the typical much larger drain once the hard drives et al kick in. The only time it can get fooled is after a power cut, or after someone inadvertently disconnects the single mains plug of the unit. Then you need to go through this 'one-off' install process again.
Well, the mains plugs are the easiest bit. The computer plugs into the permanent live, marked in black, and the rest can be plugged in just about anywhere.
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